Jesse Holt flees south to forget, pursued only by his conscience and the shadow holding on to his soul. Only at a remote southern bay can he find solace, or that’s what he tells himself, anyway. Instead he meets Lisa Dillon, who lives for the day – and the night – offering Jesse a way to shut out his memories, temporarily at least. But Lisa’s determination to live in the moment is just one of the barriers between them, as Jesse fights to break free of his past and make a new life for himself. Without Lisa, who knows only the sun in life and nothing of the shade – or the real Jesse. The safest thing he can do is keep her a distance, like he does with everyone, or else risk shining a light on his true self. Because when the sun shines on darkness, shadows still remain…
A Southern Shelter is a contemporary romance novel set in New Zealand that handles challenging issues like domestic violence and pregnancy loss. If you like complex characters, Kiwi scenery, and stories that stay with you, then you’ll love the standalone second book in Anya Forest’s Across the Strait series.
About Anya Forest
I'm a New Zealand writer who enjoys creating true-to-life Kiwi characters and communities in my contemporary New Zealand stories, capturing the unique way of life of small-town rural Mainlanders. I've lived around the South Island (and Stewart Island!) with family originally hailing from the West Coast. Each of my books weaves in the southern places that have a special place in my heart, and the outdoor way of life that is such a special part of New Zealand life.
My "Across the Strait" series is set around a family where all is not as it seems, moving through Central Otago and Stewart Island. My "Maniototo Skies" series is set around the plains of the Maniototo, dealing with the far reaching consequences of a moment of anger, and the nature of forgiveness - or not! My stories have a strong flavour of New Zealand - including the wildlife, the scenery, the music and art.
Yep, my books are romances - they have a hero and heroine, and a happily ever after. But a fair bit happens along the way to appeal to those readers who tell me they "never ever read romance" (yeah, I believe you!) as well as those of us that do (and there's a few of us, looking at the stats!)
My latest book "A Southern Shelter" (Book 2, Across the Strait) is set around Central Otago and Stewart Island, with strong themes of family and everything that word can mean. I've already started work on “A Southern Strait” (Book 3, Across the Strait). Next on my list is "A Link of Gold" - the book that will start my "On the Coast" series, taking inspiration from my West Coast heritage.
When I’m not writing I’m enjoying the outdoors with my retriever dog Crockett. And no, he’s not spoilt – I’m just very well trained!
Excerpt from A Southern Shelter
“You can stay here.”
Lisa turned to face Jesse, only metres from the hut and wearing her pack. “I’m going to sleep in the cave.”
“The cave?” He shook his head. A very good litigator… “For Christ’s sake, don’t be so melodramatic. There’re two levels of bunks. We’ll take one each. I don’t bite.”
“I don’t need your permission to sleep in the cave.” She glanced at her smartphone.
He inclined his head. “What have you got your phone out for? It’s useless out here.”
“Torch,” she said, only a flicker in her expression betraying her uncertainty.
“Using that as a torch? Here? Where’d you get that bright idea?”
“Your puns are almost as bad as your pickup lines.” She tried to analyse why she was sparring with him when she needed to get to the cave and set herself up for the night. I’ll be fine. She shivered without noticing.
“If you’re cold now you’ll be colder tonight. In the cave.” He stepped forward.
She studied him as an expert, the green eyes that seemed to have darkened from the emerald stare he’d given her earlier, the strength that was evident in his stance. The way his chin seemed to be chiselled out of his jawline, with that definite cleft, and his mouth. That made her think of only one thing. Was that a dimple? She tried to judge whether she would need to stand on tiptoe to—
“Do I pass muster?”
“Oh.” She blushed, not used to being called out.
“What if I promise not to make another pun? Would you stay then?”
She rallied, her confidence when she had first arrived now a distant memory. “I’m more worried about the pickup lines.”
“I can’t promise to stop those. So you could be in for another Freudian slip.”
“Oh,” she said again, trying to kick her brain into “speak” mode. And out of “lust” mode.
“I need the practice, after all.”
“And you’re going to practice on me?”
A definite nod. And a hint of the dimple. She watched avidly. There are worse fates. “I guess you’re right. It would be cold. In the cave.”
Genre: New Zealand contemporary romance
Heat Level: sensual/hot (adult themes)
ISBN:978-0-473-37747-2 (Paperback)/978-0-473-37749-6 (Kindle)
Page Count: 455 (Paperback) /372 (Kindle)
Publication date: 27 January 2017
Find out more here.